Helsinki Design Week takes over the city by more than 250 design events from 1 to 11 September

29. August 2016

Organised for the 12th time, Helsinki Design Week spreads candidly across the city addressing its theme for 2016, ‘Better’. Five out of ten major festival events are novelties. The festival makes announcement of an international design competition and celebrates the 10th anniversary of PechaKucha Helsinki. 

Helsinki Design Week opens a new temporary market in Helsinki by establishing the New Market near popular Design Market at the Finlayson HQ on 3 and 4 September. New Market is a playful launch and sales event created by Helsinki Design Week and Finlayson that offers forerunners an opportunity to check out completely new kind of design products. Products selected for the New Market are curated by designer Sebastian Jansson.

Showroom is Helsinki Design Week’s new professional event about design, spatial design, and lighting, co-organised with Habitare in the Helsinki fair centre (Messukeskus) from 7 to 9 September. The Showroom Stage programme has been curated by designer Tuuli Sotamaa. Programme theme ‘Different thus Better’ has to do with experiences, future homes, material innovations, lighting, leadership, money, the importance of concepts, and the power of storytelling. Speakers of this event include Henri Alén, Fabio Novembre, Fredrik Magnusson, Katrín Ólína, Håkan Långstedt, Pirjo Kääriäinen, Jukka Jokiniemi, Antero Vartia, Marti Guixé, Ville Hyvönen, Raphael Gielgen and Jukka Kurttila. Discussions are moderated by entrepreneur and design specialist Katja Lindroos.

HDW HOP installation series from 5 to 11 September presents 12 works from individual designers, collectives, as well as students. They include Finnish and international makers who have been given the freedom to brainstorm ways to regenerate the city with design. Installations provide an opportunity to experience the city in surprising ways and encourage us to sense all aspects of familiar places.

The main work is ‘superKOLMEMEN’ by Plastique Fantastique to be built in the square of The Three Smiths (Kolmen sepän aukio) in the city centre. This installation will feature daily programme, discussions, parties, and documentary film screenigs.

Design Diplomacy is a series of evening discussions that enters ambassadors’ homely residences that only few of us have been allowed to ever see before. Each night, one design professional from the hosting country meets a Finnish designer in a new card game. Playful, intelligent questions challenge both the speakers and the audience.

Design Diplomacy brings a large group of international design professionals to Helsinki. They are Ján Pernecký (Slovakia), Christoph Thun-Hohenstein (Austria), Morten Grønning Nielsen (Denmark), Francois Jégou and Lore Langendries (Belgium), Gardar Eyjolfsson (Iceland), Fredrik Färg (Sweden), Margriet Vollenberg (The Netherlands), Martí Quixé (Spain), Fabio Novembre (Italy) and Toru Horiguchi (Japan).

Finland is presented by Kivi Sotamaa, Jukka Savolainen, Tauno Tarna, Jaakko Wäänänen, Laura Juslin, Klaus Aalto, Kaj Kalín, Elina Aalto, Ville Hara, Antto Melasniemi, and Nathalie Lähdenmäki.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Asko Foundation, a new international design competition, Home Revisited, is launched during Helsinki Design Week. The idea of the competition was generated by Professor Hannu Kähkönen. This competition strives to create new innovations for the home of the future and reviews living and homes in a multidisciplinary way through service design, spatial solutions, product design, and technical solutions, as well as through any combination of the above. The first prize is 30,000 €, and the winner is announced during Helsinki Design Week 2017.

PechaKucha Helsinki celebrates its 10th anniversary by inviting all citizens to an open PechaKucha organised in the market square blocks area (Torikorttelit) on 8 September at 9 p.m. The presenters invited to this event organised for the first time under the open sky include Sarah Corbett, Luca Picardi, Björn Dahlström, Johanna Vuoksenmaa, Tommi Laitio, Marco Canevacci, Yena Young, Riccardo Marini, Gorka Cortazar, Laura Väinölä and Mari Korpimäki.

Helsinki Design Week 2016